Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 18, 2020

100 Ghost Stories Counting Down To Halloween 2020 #74

 .......continued from yesterday

HPD brought me in for questioning. We already established what I did for a living. What they wanted to know was why my wallet and ID would be on Carol's body?

Were we dating? No. Was she a friend? No. An acquaintance? No again. How did I know her? A pervert on the bus was harassing her, and the bus driver put a stop to it. What time did this happen, and what route was it? It was close to eight-fifteen in the evening, and the route was the #3. Just my luck, I had the bus transfer in my pocket. It had been a long while since I'd taken The Bus, so I wasn't sure if there would be a connecting stop where I had to get off. I gave them a description of the driver that evening and the circumstances under which she physically ejected the pervert from the bus. That part checked out. They called OTS and were able to verify with the driver. 

Why didn't I do anything to help or to stop it from happening? Everything was a blur; the driver reacted faster than anyone else could. That matched up too. On their side, OTS would deal with the driver in house. Why did I offer her a ride? She seemed severely shaken, and after what just happened, I felt it was dangerous for her to walk the extra block to work. Besides, Mike's restaurant is located in the Kukui Plaza block. I wouldn't let my mother walk ten feet in that area with all the prostitutes and drug dealers. So, you thought you'd be the hero? No, I was trying to help. She trusted you and accepted the ride. Then what? We got off by Cooke street, fronting the lofts. Dennis is a mechanic at the dealership; he's a good friend of mine. He'd finished working on my car, so we stopped to pick it up before I took Carol to work. So, Carol was there, and she saw your friend Dennis? I introduced them. Can we verify this with your friend, Dennis? Yes. I dialed his number on my phone and handed it to the officer. Everything checked out. 

At what point did Carol come to have your wallet? When she accepted my offer to drop her off at work, I gave her my wallet to hold on to, until she got there safely. Then, she could give it back. Do you always offer rides to strange women who you just met on the bus? No, this was the first time I caught the bus in a very long time. My car was in the shop; I had no vehicle. I had to catch the bus. So, you dropped her off at work, and that was it? No, she invited me to come in and have dinner on her as thanks. They called Mike's restaurant and verified the time that Carol arrived. It checked out. Mike himself, who was cooking that night, also confirmed Carol's story regarding my wallet. "Now, that's a good, honest man right there," he remarked. Carol smiled and agreed, according to Mike. The officers handed my wallet back to me in a Glad sandwich bag.

"Everything checks out Mr. Grey. Otherwise, you would have been detained and placed under arrest," the officer said. "You're free to go."


Carol Wesley was dead. Her killer was identified by the bruised fingerprint marks he'd left around her throat and the several bite marks on her shoulder. It all matched up with the pervert on the bus. He confessed that he'd been following Carol for a while and that he tried to be careful. He'd just so happened to have come from a nearby drug house where he'd been drunk and high an hour earlier. He was catching the bus home; when he got on, he was surprised to see Carol sitting there. With the drugs and the alcohol withering away his inhibitions, he went for it. He was going to have his way with Carol right there and then. He didn't expect to be physically manhandled by a woman who was three times his size and strength.

Unfortunately, he knew where Carol worked. Fueled by his humiliation, and by drugs and alcohol, he walked to Mike's restaurant and waited for his opportunity to strike. Carol's was the 10 pm to 2 am shift. She was filling in for someone else; she didn't have a problem with that; she needed the money. Around 12:55 am she stepped out for a quick break where she could enjoy a sip of her soda and a few fries. She never returned. A short time later, a homeless person walked into the restaurant and loudly announced that he'd come across a dead body just near the door. Mike and the shift manager ran outside and that's when they found Carol.


It was a horrible tragedy, and even though I'd only known her for a few hours, her presence and death made a lasting impression on me. Later that night, I was looking through my wallet before I went to bed. It's just been a habit of mine since I was a kid. In my billfold, I found a small piece of paper folded up like an origami frog. On the top was a neatly written word in ink. 'Open.'

Unfolding it, I saw it was a short note.

Thanks for your help, come by anytime for a meal.


That's when I felt it coming across my bed, slowly but determined. It felt like hands skimming on the surface of my sheets. It was Carol. She was in her disheveled work uniform; there were dirt and weeds all over it. The angry bruised finger marks covered her throat, and the bite marks were on the side of her face and her shoulders. Her mouth was partly open, and her eyes were wide and covered with a white membrane substance. She crawled toward me, and I was petrified to the spot.

"Melinda," her voice croaked. "Melinda."

I backed up to my headboard, trying to yell for help, but nothing would come out. Carol crawled on top of me, her fingers digging into my arms, "Melinda, Melinda," she whispered in my ear.

Her breath was foul; I heaved up my spam musubi all over myself. That's when I was finally able to let out a blood-curdling scream. be continued 

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